MM: So it's apparent you've had a few of those experiences recording?
NM: Yeah‚ definitely; it happens all the time. But then again you have bands like The Beatles who were famous for doing fifty takes of a song - that ability to transcend and catch that magic by being even more disciplined about it. All of my life up until this point has been about trying to figure out how to crack the egg just right and catch some magic unexpectedly. I'm just starting to learn‚ as I get older‚ of ways of being a little more purposeful about it in the studio‚ where you have an idea about the way you want it to sound before you even start‚ and achieving that as opposed to rolling with it and hoping that it works out. I've almost always‚ as a gimmick producing or working in the studio‚ only worked with fresh material where you're feeding off of that magic of the newness of it.
MM: That's interesting. I'm curious about how Percy Boyd handles recording. Actually‚ I did a little research on our friend Percy Boyd and found out that he was a character in a book.
NM: Yes‚ he's a character in a book and he's also the Sheriff that was kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde. Those are the two things I found out about Percy when I looked it up on the internet. There was a character called Percy Boyd Staunton‚ and I'm from Staunton‚ Virginia‚ so that's one of the things that drew me to it. Also‚ the trilogy I got it from is required reading in the 13th grade in Canada. So it's an equivalent to the guy from Catcher in the Rye or something down here‚ you know? I think more Canadians would get the reference. But it was a cool trilogy about magic and stuff.
Another thing I like about Percy Boyd is if you type him into a search engine you get the guy from the book and you get the Sheriff that was kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde. If you type Nathan Moore into the internet you get a pop star from Britain‚ get thousands of Nathan Moores (laughs). And some of them are musicians - I think there's three other Nathan Moores that are songwriters.
MM: Yeah‚ wow. It's the same way with my name. That's why Stankdog works a lot better.
NM: Uh-huh - there's not a lot of those.
MM: There's very‚ very few Stankdogs. Actually‚ I think I may be the only human known as Stankdog on the entire internet. You type that into the internet and you'll find me‚ but Mike McKinley on the other hand. I actually did a piece on this; I play a little bit of guitar and you know how it is sometimes when you play with people and there's no chemistry and you just don't hook up…
NM: Oh yeah‚ sure.
MM: So I went through a period playing with some people that just didn't have the passion like I did. What I lacked in technical ability they lacked in passion‚ I guess. So with my frustration I had this idea that the only way this would work is if I had a band with three or four other "mes." Instead of that‚ because I'm not sure if I'm down with cloning myself just yet‚ I went on to the internet and did a search for Mike McKinleys. I checked out what other Mike McKinleys in the world were up to (laughter). So like you found with the pop star in the UK‚ I found one very successful Mike McKinley that's a motivational speaker in the business world - you know‚ he gets paid well as a business consultant and for speaking engagements. So there's another Mike McKinley who got inducted into his high school hall of fame for his days as a star basketball player. So all of that was fascinating‚ but then I ended up finding this Mike McKinley who plays jazz guitar down in Florida. Then I found a Mike McKinley mandolin player in California and a Mike McKinley drummer in California as well. So I thought it would be really cool if I could get all these guys together for a jam session and to see if it works‚ you know‚ see if we have any chemistry.
NM: That would be brilliant (laughs).
MM: Yeah‚ I think that would be cool if I could pull that off. So what about the Nathan Moores? You ever try to get in touch with the pop star?
NM: Nope. I saw his picture (laughter). I haven't even heard his music.
MM: Not sure if you want to go there?
NM: I don't know if I want to go there. I was just mad that he...(laughs).
MM: Exists. Alright‚ enough of that nonsense. Let's talk about writing and music. When I saw you play up here you told a story about a tough time you were having with your dad when you were young and you talked about listening to Bob Dylan and how that made you feel like things were okay. It was okay to be you - things were okay. In a way it empowered you. You got that out of music. I guess it's sort of like that discovery of the power music has. In a way‚ it's like it kept you sane. What are some of your thoughts on that? I'm sure you get that same feeling out of writing songs. How do you feel about it?
NM: That's an interesting question. In a lot of ways that hits close to home with some of the difficulties I've been having lately. It's a very powerful thing to hear someone feeling the same way you do‚ especially when you're younger and you've never been exposed to anyone who has said out loud or at least admitted having those same feelings you do. Music has done that for me. A lot times it's just letting you know you're not alone in some way - in some beautiful way. Not only am I not alone but people that feel the same way are making incredible music and singing about these feelings. So that was always really powerful to me‚ and to a certain extent I always wanted to reveal as much as I could of myself. I did get that response back from people where they relate to it and it kept them company in hard times and good times.
It's so interesting to me because of all the stuff that's going on in the world. I'm a little bit more confused about that stuff then I've ever been - especially being a pacifist. There seems to be such a state of nihilism‚ you know‚ even with the people that used to be pacifists after September 11th; I don't know where they went. I don't get the same response to some of my strongest convictions as I used to in the past. I'm trying to figure how to do it's like I'm starting all over again.
MM: Right‚ starting fresh.
NM: I used to be able to go off at a show about my convictions on the War on Drugs and get a wonderful feeling of camaraderie in the air and I can't even do that anymore.